Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

State v. Ashby

Supreme Court of North Dakota

March 30, 2017

State of North Dakota, Plaintiff and Appellant
v.
Caren Charaye Ashby, Defendant and Appellee

         Appeal from the District Court of Wells County, Southeast Judicial District, the Honorable James D. Hovey, Judge.

         REVERSED AND REMANDED.

          Kathleen K. Murray, State's Attorney, Wells County State's Attorney Office, for plaintiff and appellant.

          Garrett D. Ludwig, for defendant and appellee.

          OPINION

          Kapsner, Justice.

         [¶ 1] The State appeals from a district court order granting Caren Ashby's motion to suppress evidence seized after a traffic stop. Suppression was based on the district court's conclusion that the officer did not have reasonable suspicion to initiate a traffic stop. The State argues the traffic stop was supported by reasonable suspicion. We reverse and remand.

         I

         [¶ 2] Caren Ashby was arrested for several drug related offenses after a traffic stop in Wells County on August 26, 2015. Caren Ashby moved to suppress all evidence seized from the traffic stop, and the State opposed the motion. Caren Ashby challenged the validity of the traffic stop and argued all evidence uncovered should be suppressed. The State argued the traffic stop was supported by reasonable suspicion or was valid as a community caretaking function. The district court held a hearing. At the hearing, the arresting officer testified he was on patrol the day of the arrest and received a "BOLO" teletype alert at 11:58 a.m. This alert was entitled "NDSLIC Request for Information/Case Support" and stated:

WELFARE CHECK ON 2 MINOR CHILDREN, [two children's names and dates of birth]. THE PARENTS ARE MATTHEW AND CAREN ASHBY AND ARE REPORTEDLY USING DRUGS HEAVILY. SOCIAL SERVICES HAS BEEN TRYING TO MAKE CONTACT REPEATEDLY BUT THEY CONTINUE TO AVOID THEM. THEY MAY BE DRIVING A 2007 WHITE CROWN VIC WITH WA/LIC ATN6050. THE PAINT IS PEALING ON THE HOOD OR A LATE 1990'S DARK BROWN CHEVY SUBURBAN WITH NO LICENSE PLATES. IF LOCATED, PLEASE CONTACT STUTSMAN COUNTY SOCIAL SERVICES AT (LIBBY (701)269-XXXX) OR (STEPH (701)490-XXXX).

         The officer testified because this BOLO originated from Jamestown, he believed it would be pertinent to him because he patrolled in that area.

         [¶ 3] The officer continued patrol, traveling on Highway 52. The officer testified he spotted a white Ford Crown Victoria with peeling paint on the hood and Washington plates traveling the opposite direction on Highway 52 at 1:17 p.m. The officer noticed it matched the description from the BOLO and immediately turned around to follow the vehicle. The officer testified as he caught up to the vehicle, it "immediately turned off onto the rest area in Sykeston, on the north side of Highway 52." The officer "thought it was interesting that [the vehicle] immediately turned right off the highway." The officer testified this indicated "[a]lmost the premise of... eluding, due to the fact that they were aware that I was there, and it's not a very active rest area. So, it kind of sparked my interest and a little bit of suspicion." The officer continued to travel on Highway 52 and turned right to travel north on Highway 30, which is adjacent to the rest area. The officer pulled into a field approach to face the direction of the rest area parking lot to observe the vehicle and its occupants. The officer saw an adult female, adult male, and two small children outside the vehicle. The officer testified the vehicle and individuals were at the rest stop for about five minutes and none entered the rest stop facility during that time.

         [¶ 4] While observing the individuals, the officer made phone calls in an effort to confirm the information from the BOLO. The officer determined the vehicle, male and female occupants, and two small children matched the information from the BOLO. The officer then called Stutsman County Social Services and spoke to Libby, who was named as a contact person in the BOLO. The officer testified Libby told him "Matthew and Caren were known drug users; heavy users at that" and that "family had reported them using hard drugs and methamphetamine and heroin and things of that nature." The officer testified Libby indicated she was "concerned for their children, due to the fact that both of them were using and involved in drugs." The officer testified Libby told him Stutsman and Ward County Social Services and Ward County Narcotics Task Force were investigating the Ashbys. The officer testified he believed it was significant the task force was investigating the Ashbys. The officer testified Stutsman County Social Services indicated they had been trying to make contact with the Ashbys since January 2015.

         [¶ 5] The officer also spoke with Officer Ackland of the Jamestown Police Department about the BOLO. The officer testified:

Officer Ackland stated that he was in contact with Libby from social services; had received a phone call from her in regards to Matthew and Caren Ashby and both of their children. From further... on in the conversation, Officer Ackland stated that he had made personal contact with Caren's grandmother, at which point he stated that Caren's grandmother was supposed to be watching the kids that day and that Matthew and Caren had ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.